Italy Earthquake: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Tremor Rocks Central Italy, Extensive Damage Reported [Breaking/Video]

Central Italy has been rocked by a fairly rare and strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake struck near the city of Perugia, according to the USGS, and was strong enough to be felt at least as far away as Rome. As the BBC reports, the strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled central Italy at 03:36 (01:36 GMT).

In addition to being unusually strong, the tremor was also quite shallow with a depth of just six miles. The shallow depth of the earthquake coupled with its strong 6.2 magnitude indicates that the early Wednesday morning quake could potentially have caused significant damage when it struck 47 miles south of Perugia.

Initially, there were no reports of casualties or major damages resulting from the earthquake, but as more first-hand accounts of the Italy earthquake continue to come in, it is beginning to appear that it likely resulted in significant wide-spread destruction.

At least one report indicates that the strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake visibly shook buildings in the ancient Italian capital city of Rome for at least 20 seconds when it struck. As CNN reports, the earthquake was initially reported as having a magnitude of 6.4.

According to preliminary reports, officials in the Italian government have been communicating with one another regarding the potentially deadly quake. The office of the Prime Minister of Italy reports that federal government agents have gotten in touch with the more widespread regional heads of the country’s civil protection agency, which is similar to the National Guard in the United States.

Italy is no stranger to earthquakes, but most are small to moderate. Wednesday morning’s strong 6.2 earthquake in Italy was out of the ordinary, large earthquakes that do strike Italy from time to time, and they often cause major damage and loss of life. A pair of large earthquakes struck northern Italy back in 2012. Those earthquakes, measuring 5.8 and 6.0 in magnitude respectively, killed dozens of unsuspecting people in the region when they struck on May 20 and 29 of 2012.

Perhaps the deadliest earthquake to strike Italy in recent memory was back in April 2009. In that strong and deadly Italy earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.3, 295 people lost their lives. Like this morning’s quake, the 2009 strong Italy earthquake hit near central Italy.

Reports are starting to come in from near the epicenter of the strong 6.2 Italy earthquake indicating that some areas have been impacted by some fairly significant damage and power outages, reports The Telegraph. Sergio Perozzi, mayor of Amatrice, told a local, state-run radio station that his city was dealing with fallen buildings and a loss of power.

To make matters worse, the mayor also reported that the city is facing communications disruptions and that he has been unable to make contact with the local hospital and/or emergency responders to help get the situation under control.

“What can I tell you? It’s a tragedy.”

Because of the preliminary nature of this breaking news story, it’s impossible to fully or accurately gauge the potential devastation of the strong 6.2 Italy quake that struck at around 3:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

In addition to the strong 6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy in the overnight hours, the nation is reportedly facing a wake of aftershocks that are undoubtedly adding to the terror of the Wednesday’s quake.

According to the USGS PAGER system, the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy triggered a red alert. In instances of USGS PAGER red alerts, earthquakes have the potential to have caused significant damage and loss of life. However, at this stage, no casualties have been reported in Italy.

It has been reported that residents in many impacted cities have fled their homes and are gathering in the streets to avoid being caught in the midst of a collapsing building. This is a breaking news event, and more information and specifics regarding the strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck central Italy are expected as daylight breaks and citizens take to social media to share their stories.

***Update: Breaking News is reporting potential casualties out of Amatrice as a result of Wednesday’s earthquake. Reportedly, residents of the city are buried under rubble and much of the city is “no longer there” following the strong 6.2 Italy earthquake.***

[Image via Shutterstock]

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